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Burt Reynolds, Self-Mocking Hollywood Heartthrob, Dies at 82

Friday - 07/09/2018 03:22
A decade later he battled an addiction to prescription medication after his jaw was shattered in a fight scene, an accident that left him wizened and led to false whispers that he was dying of AIDS.
Burt Reynolds in 1966. A Hollywood charmer, he was a hit with audiences but not always with the critics.CreditCreditSam Falk/The New York Times
Burt Reynolds in 1966. A Hollywood charmer, he was a hit with audiences but not always with the critics.CreditCreditSam Falk/The New York Times

Burt Reynolds, the wryly appealing Hollywood heartthrob who carried on a long love affair with moviegoers even though his performances were often more memorable than the films that contained them, has died at 82.

A spokesman for Mr. Reynold’s agent, Todd Eisner, confirmed the death. No other details were immediately provided.

A self-mocking charmer with laugh-crinkled dark eyes, a rakish mustache and a hairy chest that he often bared onscreen, Mr. Reynolds did not always win the respect of critics. But for many years he was ranked among the top 10 movie draws worldwide, and from 1978 through 1982 he ruled the box office as few, if any, stars had done before.

From car-crash comedies like “Smokey and the Bandit” to romances like “Starting Over” to the hit television series “Evening Shade,” Mr. Reynolds delighted audiences for four decades, most often playing a good-hearted good ol’ boy seemingly not that different from his offscreen self.

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